new to climbing but have done bouldering for around 2 months. have purchased a harness and will be buying rope tomorrow from cotswold. i have a belay device with the harnes but have seen the GRIGRI online and would like some opinions on that.
The GriGri is a great device, particularly for sport climbing - I use it all the time - but there have been many incidents of misuse which have led to accidents. If you do get one make sure you take care to learn where it's appropriate to use it and how to do so safely.
If you have a belay device already my advice wouyld be to use that first and get used to it before moving on to anything different.
In reply to john arran: i think i would be doing sport climbing as im only now starting off and there in a small crag near me which i could start on. when you say missuse do you meen setting it up wrong or malfunction of the device
Both really. They can be very slick with new or thin ropes. They can be attached to the rope the wrong way round. And they can lock open easily if the belayer squeezes it in a panic when the leader falls.
Like I said they are great in the right hands but they do take a bit of knowledge and getting used to. As long as you're aware of that and are careful there shouldn't be a problem. Other people will no doubt disagree - underatandably when some have seen or had accidents with them - but in reality most sportclimbers use them almost all of the time.
It's lighter, cheaper and IMO more intuitive to use than a GriGri and it's more difficult to get wrong. I am constantly surprised by how few you see about. Everyone who has asked me about mine and tried it has been impressed.
There is no point if you are new to climbing in spending your hard earned on a specialist device that you do not need. A gri gri is no better than an attentive belayer in most scenarios so stick with your belay plate and add the money saved to the quickdraw fund (I hate calling them that! Extenders damnit!) or even better trad gear
In reply to EZ: hi EZ, trad is where you use the cams rather than the bolts on the wall right ? im not sure i could trust them yet as ive never seen them being used so finding it difficult to trust them. i know they are safe oviously, its just me lol
I agree with EZ, a standard belay device will do you fine at the moment, save the money for something else. That being said I love my gri gri to bits, and when people are working routes it's the best thing ever.
> It's lighter, cheaper and IMO more intuitive to use than a GriGri and it's more difficult to get wrong. I am constantly surprised by how few you see about. Everyone who has asked me about mine and tried it has been impressed.
The trouble with the Mammut Smart (to save anyone clicking on the link) is that they are neither fish nor fowl and represent a middle ground in both funtionality and versatility. Since nearly everyone is going to have a traditional device to cope with single and double ropes and abseiling and the dedicated sport climber will probably have a Grigri as well which is undoubtedly better for working routes there doesn“t seem a lot of point in having a third device.
Trad does have more inherent risk and you may favour sport for the relative safety that it brings to climbing. In trad, besides gear coming out also the distance between pieces of protection can vary greatly and tends to go up as you climb through the grades and the rated breaking strain of each piece may be from 14Kn down to 2Kn depending on it's size and how it is constructed. Trad isn't just about using cams though. There are other active devices such as tricams and (sliding) ball nuts and there are many quite different forms of passive protection too which range from the very small RPs and Micro Stoppers all the way through to large hexes the size of your fist. From the starting point of already having a harness, rope, belay device, shoes and a helmet, a rack can be ready to go in about £200 - £250 and can take years to be fully added to, bit by bit.
Some people don't want the added risk and some people don't want to or are unable to afford to get the gear involved, which is fair enough.
What may be a cost for you, if you think that trad climbing is something that you would like to get into, is that after climbing only sport for say a year or two before moving to trad it may result in some disappointment about how difficult the climbs are that you can manage when you start out in trad initially. It is not uncommon for say a 6a+/6b outdoor climber to be stuck at severe or hard severe when moving into trad because the head game is more pronounced than they expected it to be. You don't have to make a decision now, but it is certainly worth considering. People stay with both disciplines exclusively as much as people crossover and do both. And if you want some inspiration then here is a video that you may not have seen from a month or two back on UKC: http://www.ukclimbing.com/videos/play.php?i=1036
Certainly if you haven't got a helmet then spend your gri gri money on that and whatever sort of climbing you are planning on doing. Good luck and stay safe
Something just to add. If you look after your gear you could be using it for years, so I would look at it as capital outlay rather than running cost. When you see trad climbers, have a look at the older climbers' racks. Generally they will be half made up with dinosaur teeth and fossils on ropes that you can't buy any more. I still use a few karabiners of my dad's and have his old passive protection that has actually gone out on a couple of long mountain routes in Wales when I didn't have as much gear as I do now.
I know a lot of people swear by them, but personally I don't like them Give me a good old bug anytime which is so versatile, suitable for sport and trad, including multi pitch and can be used for abbing if you need to keep weight down on a mountain route.
In reply to jimtitt: The way I read it he doesn't have a second device never mind a 3rd. I was suggesting the Smart as an alternative to the GriGri i.e. his second device.
I have to confess to a certain bias however as some one once dropped me using a GriGri and another person informed me, just as I was contemplating the crux, that she had it the wrong way round. I sold mine after I was told that the way I was using it was unsafe (Everyone was using them that way at the time). I found the improved method a bit awkward and never really got on with it after that. The new versions do seem better in that regard however. I think that they are over rated. They are heavy, expensive and easy to use incorrectly. I wish for the life of me I could find the early adverts because I bought mine on the understanding that it was a failsafe, handsfree device. I feel certain that the advice to never let go of the dead rope came much later by which time they were dominating the market.
In reply to leehawkins:
Assisted-braking Belay Devices
Look on UKC type in the above and compare the sport belay devices.
I use a Click up and find it for me and my wife the best as it automaticly locks up like last month when I fell around 25ft on a runout sport route in the Gorge du Tarn, which my wife caught me with no problem.
In reply to leehawkins: I say use a normal belay device for at least a few months, you'll just be top roping and if you start with a gri gri I don't think you'll really appreciate the mechanics of belaying.
In reply to leehawkins: get to know the belay device you have first, getting a solid understanding/good instincts with a device like that (I assume here that it's an atc/bug style) is invaluable. Grigris are good but might give you bad habits and are fairly easy to get wrong
In reply to leehawkins: If you are interested in the Grigri i would also look at the Edelrid Eddy. It is a much safer version of the grigri basically as if you over pull the handle it locks off again instead of allowing the rope to run free.